Mom Raises Awareness on the Challenges of Staying Home With the Kids
Being a mom is hard, no matter if you choose to work or stay at home with the kids. However, many people still wrongly assume that staying at home with the kids might be easier than going to work. Now, one mom is aiming to shatter that stigma and stereotype with a heartbreakingly honest post about her life as a stay-at-home mom (SAHM).
Bridgette Armstrong, 25, is a Minnesota mom who has been staying at home with her kids for more than a year, since her now 18-month-old daughter, Riley, was 5 months old, TODAY Parents reports. In the past week, she felt overwhelmed and isolated and took to Facebook to share her feelings.
“Everyone thinks being a stay-at-home mom full time is easy,” Armstrong wrote in her post. “That we are lucky to be able to not have to work. That we are lazy. That it’s not ‘real’ work, so we have nothing to complain about. But the truth is, it’s f***king lonely and overwhelming.”
She goes on to the list all the things she’s unable to do by herself, such as go to the bathroom, have a cup of coffee, read or anything else without her kids “crying or screaming at her leg,” adding that the only breaks she gets is when her kids are asleep (time that she often uses to clean up the house). She also explains that she wears the same clothes “that smell like sweat and tears for days at a time because they’re already stained and no use in ruining more clothes.” Plus, in moments of frustration, she can’t even lock herself into the bathroom for a second to breathe without her children trying to get in.
“You forget what it means or feels like to be an individual, because your entire existence now revolves around that child,” she writes. “I was one of those people who judged SAHM’s, but I get it now…my house isn’t clean, I’m not clean, the dishes aren’t done, I have screamed already today, I have cried and I have felt so damn guilty that my child was here to witness it. But I am alone and I am lonely,” she writes towards the end of her post. “Check in on your SAHM friends. We are NOT OK."
Armstrong, who lives with her boyfriend of eight years, was surprised by some of the negative comments she got on the post. “It’s still showing the stigma that surrounds stay-at-home moms and how we shouldn’t complain,” Armstrong told TODAY Parents in an interview. “But I think so many people—not just moms, not just stay-at-home moms, but parents of all shapes and sizes—have related to this because in a social media world, we are expected to show only the great parts in life.”
Many moms can definitely relate—the post has gone viral, with over 67,000 shares and 22,000 reactions. “Thank you for sharing Bridgette Anne! This is absolutely true. I’ve been a SAHM now for over 6 years…I love my children and I love taking care of them, but there are days when you’re so exhausted physically and mentally, you just don’t know how you keep doing it day after day…You’re doing the best you can and I wish you all the love and support you need,” one mom commented, while another wrote, “I have been a SAHM, a full time working Mom and now part-time working and going to school to change careers with four kids at home. Being a full time SAHM was my hardest job!”
For Armstrong, her post was an opportunity to encourage others to check in on their friends who are stay-at-home parents. “I want people to check in on their mom friends because we are usually the last people to speak up about needing help,” she told TODAY Parents. “As a society I feel like stay-at-home moms are pressured into feeling nothing but grateful that they get the opportunity to stay home—that we aren’t allowed to speak out on our bad days without someone telling us it could be worse. I want people to realize that even though it can be a privilege to be able to raise our children full time, it also can be hard, and it’s OK to talk about it without feeling like you’re going to be told to suck it up.”